The name’s Bond, James Bond. Well, not really but I wish it was. After all who wouldn’t want to be the famous superspy? Thanks to video games we do get the chance to embody 007. He’s had a lot of games over the years and with the rerelease of Goldeneye on Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox Game Pass, it’s as good a time as any to rank the Top 10 James Bond Video Games.
10. James Bond 007
Releasing six months after the seminal Bond game Goldeneye, James Bond 007 for the Game Boy is a bit of a forgotten relic. That’s a shame because while it may have been overshadowed by the craze of Goldeneye, James Bond 007 is an excellent little portable Bond adventure. Featuring an original story and top-down gameplay reminiscent of Link’s Awakening, this is a unique Bond adventure well worth experiencing. Don’t let its simple nature fool you, James Bond 007 is a full Bond experience.
Across 11 globe-trotting levels, you control Bond as he sneaks and fights his way to saving the world. You have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal to dispatch enemies as well as karate moves to utilize. It wouldn’t be Bond without karate chopping the back of the bad guy’s neck to knock them out. There are also fan-favorite Bond villains like Oddjob and Jaws, dialogue that captures the spirit of the films, and even gambling mini-games. It may look simple but this game packs a lot of Bond into a tiny cartridge.
9. The World is Not Enough
When discussing FPS games based on Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, you’re pretty much exclusively going to hear about Goldeneye 007. But the N64 had another: EA’s The World is Not Enough. While it doesn’t measure up to the heights of Goldeneye, it’s a terrific game in its own right. It even improved upon some aspects that Goldeneye was lacking like the addition of voice acting and better graphics. The PS1 version even featured FMV cutscenes straight from the movie.
It’s missing a little of the Rare magic that helped make Goldeneye into the classic that it is but The World is Not Enough is an extremely solid FPS. The shooting is fast-paced and responsive with varied and decent level design. The missions and difficulty-based objectives are similar to Goldeneye and it even has a decent multiplayer mode. It’s a really good iteration of what came before, even if it can’t quite match it.
8. Agent Under Fire
The 6th generation of video game consoles (PS2, GameCube, Xbox) was the golden era of James Bond video games and it all started with Agent Under Fire. An FPS game in the same vein as Goldeneye, Agent Under Fire takes the gameplay formula everybody loved on the N64 and gives it the sheen of the more powerful hardware. No longer being based on a movie allowed the developers to craft their own James Bond adventure. With a mix of stealth, action, and driving, they succeeded.
Agent Under Fire didn’t have the likeness of any Bond actor at the time so they had to craft their own. While he looks a little too close to Sterling Archer (which is freaky considering it came out 8 years before the show) the voice actor and writing do a good job of making him feel like Bond. Equal parts smarmy and suave. The game also does a great job at making you feel like Bond with the introduction of ‘Bond Moments’. Do something that Bond would do like driving up a ramp through a window during a car chase or shooting some explosive barrels and you’re treated to a 007 icon and a hit of the famous theme song. These moments are never marked so you have to just do them naturally during gameplay and it truly makes you feel like the super spy.
The shooting itself is fine. It’s your standard early 6th gen FPS but the variety of levels, objectives, and gadgets make it a rollicking good time. This served as the template for a game that improved on all its elements to make something truly classic.
7. Quantum of Solace
There are two versions of the Quantum of Solace game, one for the PS3/360 and one for the PS2. The version on this list is the PS3/360 version. Developed by Treyarch, Quantum of Solace was made on the same engine as Call of Duty Modern Warfare. Much like those games, this is an action-packed FPS where you go from set-piece to set-piece. It plays a lot like Call of Duty games from that period but considering it was the golden age of COD, that’s an excellent thing.
It’s not just a copy-paste though, as it features a cover system that shifts perspective to third person. Combined with the run-and-gun FPS action, it’s a perfect blend to make you feel like the gritty Bond Daniel Craig is. There’s more than just Quantum of Solace as the game also covers the events of Casino Royale. Featuring the likeness and voices of both Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, Quantum of Solace took the Bond games in a new direction after the games of the Brosnan era but much like the films it’s what the series needed.
6. Blood Stone
An underrated gem among Bond games, Blood Stone is the only one of the Daniel Craig games to feature an original story. A third-person shooter that uses the ‘Mark & Execute’ system from Splinter Cell Conviction, this is arguably the Bond game that will make you feel most badass.
Allowing you to tackle levels with stealth, gunfights, or both, the game is the best representation of the Craig films Bourne influence. The shooting is tight and the ability to quickly take out multiple enemies at once with focus kills offers the action a gritty and quick pace none of the other games have. You can go from stealth killing a few enemies, to focus killing others to start a huge gunfight to using melee and then back to focus killing. You truly feel like the precise killing machine that James Bond is.
There are also a few fantastic vehicle levels courtesy of developer Bizzare Creation’s experience on the Project Gotham Racing games. These sections don’t have the gadget-filled cars of previous Bond games but in keeping with the Craig era’s more grounded tone are extraordinarily visceral car chases. Throw in the likeness and vocal talents of Daniel Craig and Judi Dench and what you have is an interactive Bond movie.
5. Goldeneye Reloaded
Goldeneye Reloaded had a lot to live up to. While it can’t quite measure up to the original, it still offers an enjoyable time. Released at a time when most FPS games were trying to chase Call of Duty, Goldeneye Reloaded offered an FPS game that felt like a great combination of modern and retro sensibilities.
Playing like a mixture of a Call of Duty game and a 6th gen run and gun game, Goldeneye Reloaded eschews the ‘take cover and pop out’ shooting gallery style of the Call of Duty games to instead feature levels based around strategically deciding when to take cover and when to run around spraying bullets.
Its updated characters due to licensing issues and some shotty A.I. leave it lagging behind the original but it still offers enough gameplay variety and such rock-solid shooting that it’s hard not to have a good time. While it may never reach the heights of either old school or new school, it provides an excellent combo of both.
4. From Russia with Love
Being the game that brought back Sean Connery is enough to get From Russia with Love on this list. Luckily, it has much more to offer than just getting Connery out of retirement. Based on the second Bond movie of the same name, From Russia with Love is a love letter to classic Bond.
Beyond Bond being modeled after and voiced by Connery himself, the game also features the likenesses of original M actor Bernard Lee and Robert Shaw who portrayed SPECTRE henchman Red Grant in the film. Though due to their passing away before the game was made they are voiced by other actors, just having their faces adds real authenticity.
The movie the game is based on isn’t very action packed so to make up for it, the game adds new plot elements to make room for shootouts and car chases to excite the player. While it may not be entirely faithful to the film, the new elements allow the inclusion of iconic elements from other Connery films like the jetpack from Thunderball and the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. It’s a tight, third-person shooter that successfully recaptures the spirit of the classic Bond era.
Improving upon everything Agent Under Fire did, Nightfire is easily the second-best Bond FPS. While he doesn’t lend his voice, Pierce Brosnan did lend his likeness to Bond and the original story captures the spirit of the entire Bond series. From the classic espionage to the sillier elements, everything you love about Bond is here.
The gameplay is as good as any FPS game from its era that you can play. With tight fast-paced shooting, a variety of weapons ranging from pistols to shotguns to laser guns, a collection of Bond gadgets to utilize, and tons of objective variety. There are also excellent driving missions mixed in where you’ll take out enemy vehicles with your car’s weapons and gadgets. Many of the levels also let you tackle them in multiple ways with multiple possible routes to take.
The campaign is on the shorter side but it takes you across the globe in a way only Bond can. Mansions in the alps, islands in the jungle, skyscrapers in Japan, and even space. Nightfire’s campaign is Bond to its fullest. It also has an excellent multiplayer mode that features maps based on classic locations from the series and the ability to play as classic characters. With about a dozen modes and A.I. bots to play with, its multiplayer is everything you want from a Bond game.
2. Goldeneye 007
For those of you who haven’t closed this list in anger over Goldeneye not being number 1, thank you. Now, Goldeneye is an incredible achievement. A movie tie-in released two years after the movie came out and made for the N64 should not have worked. Well, not only did it work it essentially created console first-person shooters, a genre that up to that point was known as something that needed to be on PC to work.
Everything about Goldeneye just works so brilliantly. To compensate for the lack of precision that a mouse provides, the game features an auto-aim system that targets enemies automatically when you look in their direction. This allows for ridiculously fun fast paced shooting where you can just sprint through a level mowing down enemies. There’s a manual precision aiming mechanic as well if you want to be more deliberate. It’s a gameplay system that now with the re-release having the benefit of a normal control scheme, still holds up.
Every level is perfectly designed with big areas, multiple pathways, and additional objectives based on the difficulty you choose. Trying to unlock cheats gives it added replay value and then using those cheats to run through the game again with things like big head mode, invincibility, and paintball mode turned on adds even more reasons to return.
Then of course there’s the legendary multiplayer. Immaculately designed maps, a fun roster of characters to play as, and a good selection of modes all combined with the fast-paced shooting made this the perfect hang-out activity with your friends in 1997. Frankly, it’s still the perfect hang-out activity with your friends, just don’t pick Oddjob.
1. Everything or Nothing
Goldeneye is an incredible video game but Everything or Nothing is a fully-fledged playable James Bond movie. Pierce Brosnan provides his voice and likeness to play Bond for the final time. Judi Dench and John Cleese also provide their voice and likeness for M and Q respectively. Rounding out the cast are Heidi Klum and Willem freaking Dafoe as the main villain. It even has the return of fan-favorite henchman Jaws once again played by Richard Kiel. The cast, the story, the theme song, and the action, this is the peak of the golden era of James Bond video games.
A third-person shooter complete with shootouts, stealth, melee beatdowns, and driving sections, Everything or Nothing gives you everything you’d want out of a good Bond movie except now you’re in control. The level design is solid, taking you around the globe and utilizing a mixture of stealth and action with a healthy amount of gadget use. There are Bond moments to pull off during the levels that are presented in a cinematic way to give them the reverence they deserve.
The driving sections are a particular highlight, with multiple levels seeing you control different vehicles equipped with weapons to take out and escape enemies. There’s one particular level that sees you driving a motorcycle where you weave in and out of traffic while taking on enemy cars, sliding under exploding tanker trucks, and dealing with a helicopter. It’s by the far the coolest and most Bond-feeling mission in any Bond video game to date.
James Bond video games try to make you feel like the super-spy and none do that better than Everything or Nothing. It has everything you want out of an action shooter and everything you want out of a James Bond adventure. You aren’t just playing a Bond video game with this one, you’re an active participant in a James Bond movie and that’s what makes Everything or Nothing the best James Bond game. Also, did I mention Willem Dafoe is in it?